What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is a common medical condition that is customarily referred to as high blood pressure. This condition causes the blood to travel through the arteries with an excessive amount of pressure. The force in which the blood presses on the artery walls can cause individuals to have heart problems, a stroke, kidney disease and hardening of the arteries.

Common causes of high blood pressure in adults include underlying medical conditions, such as thyroid issues, abnormal arteries and kidney problems. Factors that can contribute to individuals developing high blood pressure include smoking, obesity, aging, stress and a family history of the condition.

What are the Symptoms of Hypertension?

Common symptoms that indicate high blood pressure include blurry vision, headaches, dizzy spells and a nauseated stomach.

Many people never have any symptoms at all, so it is important that individuals have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis. The standard blood pressure reading for an adult is 120/80. The first or top number gauges the forcefulness of the blood as it travels through the walls of the arteries in the body. The second or bottom number determines the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes after each beat. Frequent blood pressure monitoring is especially important for people who have family members with high blood pressure.

How is Hypertension Treated?

Individuals who are diagnosed with high blood pressure are often prescribed prescription medication. Common blood pressure medications include beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers and renin inhibitors. Physicians often prescribe a combination of these medications as they all play a part in helping to treat high blood pressure.

Individuals can often control their high blood pressure by making changes in their lifestyle and habits. These include losing weight, becoming more active, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and restricting salt when eating.

Last Reviewed:
September 14, 2016
Last Updated:
August 09, 2017